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RIA & Ajax: Article

Developer Viewpoint: (Google+Sun) > Microsoft

Yakov Fain Looks at What the Sun-Google Announcement Means for Developers

Whatever Google touches turns into gold. One can't necessarily say the same about Sun Microsystems, but it's a very solid company that can provide a potent foundation for Google's super-talented software engineers, visionaries and marketing force.

In the end of the last century, client-server applications became un-cool. Amazon was "the man" of the Internet business. Then eBay made another revolution and has changed the lives of millions of people giving them a new way of making living right from their one-horse towns in the middle of nowhere. Sun's commitment to the slogan "The network is the computer" and its support of Java-related technologies made Java a household name which was not the case 10 years ago.

What did Microsoft do during the same period? They kept making micro-improvements to the Windows OS. The year 2005 is about to end, but a majority of the enterprises are still using Windows 2000. Why? Because they can't justify upgrading to a newer version of this super-popular OS. Anything else? Oh yeah, I forgot to mention .NET, which was not a revolutionary product either.

During the last several years, Google has turned itself from a search engine that was a little faster than Yahoo!, to a #1 creator of super-attractive software products. Have you visited this page lately http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/? Try any of these applications, and it'll make your day.

If someone would ask me what's the coolest application I've seen in years, I'd say Google Earth (http://earth.google.com). With this program I was able to see my backyard from the satellite and trace my recent trip to Europe. It's a desktop application and it's free and it's fat as in fat client. And even if some of their applications are thin, the AJAX technology make them look fat and rich. If you'll add the ability to remotely download Java Virtual Machine to your desktop/PDA/phone, we can cut the umbilical cord between you and Microsoft Windows.

What does it mean for us software developers? We need to learn how to quickly add the asynchronous style processing to our enterprise Web applications with the right AJAX productivity tool. Which one? We'll see next year. Dozens of software companies are already offering their versions of the "PowerBuilder of the Web."

If Google and Sun will offer a free downloadable replacement for Microsoft Office suite (see OpenOffice.org), millions of people who do not use anything other then a Web browser, word processor , e-mail client and a spreadsheet will convert to their religion. Which OS will they use? Who cares, Java will run anywhere.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

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Most Recent Comments
Yakov Fain 12/31/05 09:31:08 AM EST

Told ya! Check out the Writely Web word processor:

http://www.writely.com/

serguei bakhteiarov 10/07/05 10:23:34 AM EDT

AJAX current problem is its browser based legacy. It is a nightmare to debug AJAX apps (as any JavaScript) to be used in different browser. So, the majority of AJAX apps are based on IE (read Windoz again), however Google maps works on Firefox as well.

You thesis about PDA based AJAX apps is kinda a stretch at this point at least... I hate these:

if (browser == "IE")
blah blah
else {if (browser == "Firefox")

yada yada

Well, how about whole bunch of other browsers?

Now, it is really rare event to meet a serious JavaScript programmer nowadays, I hope we will see Java developers inflow into rows of them soon...

Overall, Google change the rules and I love this, it spooks M$FT as well as all these telcom dudes with free broadband WiFi, it is just "kick ass" for these dudes, they really need it big time!

I just hope sometime in the future Google kick asses of oil dudes as well :-)

cheers,

serge

R 10/07/05 10:13:14 AM EDT

Behind the scenes..MS as usual has most developers starting to make their reference platform .net to SQL Server. plus Linux makes Sun(the setting SUN) and a couple of apps for Google...so what...MS .net is at a tipping point and from there once again it will be 70% .net and 10% Java...for as far as you can see. Java had it's chance and didn't get over the hump and won't now.